Ben Jacobson

Ben Jacobson (born December 16, 1970)

Current position: Head men’s basketball coach
Current team: Northern Iowa Panthers
Current conference: Missouri Valley Conference (MVC)
Northern Iowa record: 354-233 (.603)
Overall record: 354-233 (.603)

Career Accomplishments:

  • NCAA National Championships:  0
  • NCAA Tournament Appearances:  4  (2009, 2010, 2015, 2016)
  • NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen:  1  (2010)
  • NCAA Tournament Final Four:  0
  • NIT Championships:  0
  • NIT Appearances:  2  (2012, 2022)
  • CIT Appearances:  2  (2011, 2013)
  • Missouri Valley Regular Season Champion:  4  (2009, 2010, 2020, 2022)
  • Missouri Valley Tournament Champion:  4  (2009, 2010, 2015, 2016)


Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

2006-present Northern Iowa
2001-2006 Northern Iowa (asst)
2000-2001 North Dakota State (asst)
1996-2000 North Dakota (asst)
1994-1996 North Dakota (grad. asst)
1993-1994 North Dakota (student asst)

Ben Jacobson Facts

  • Ben Scott Jacobson
  • Born December 16, 1970
  • Hometown: Mayville, North Dakota
  • Alma Mater: University of North Dakota (BA, 1994)
  • Named North Dakota Mr. Basketball in 1989 after a phenomenal prep career at Mayville-Portland HS
    • Shares the same hometown as Hall of Fame college head coach Lute Olson
  • Played four years at (then Division II) North Dakota under head coach Rich Glas
    • Was a two-time team captain at UND and became the school’s all-time assists leader by the end of his career
  • Became a student assistant under Glas at North Dakota in 1993, then was a graduate assistant for two seasons 1994-1996
  • Promoted to a full-time assistant position in 1996 at UND, keeping that role for four seasons
  • Spent six total seasons as an assistant to Greg McDermott, one at North Dakota State and five at Northern Iowa
  • Took over as UNI head coach in 2006 following McDermott‘s departure for Iowa State
    • Led the Panthers to a surprise Sweet Sixteen spot in 2010, which included a 2nd round upset of #1 overall seed Kansas
    • Reached the semifinals of the 2013 CIT, losing to Weber State one game shy of the title match-up
    • His teams have won four MVC regular season titles and four MVC Tournaments, leading to four NCAA Tournament bids and two NITs
    • In February 2021, Jacobson earned the 300th win of his career (all of which have been at UNI)
    • Jacobson is the first five-time winner of the Missouri Valley Coach of the Year award

Ben Jacobson Coaching Tree

  • Jordan Ashton (Iowa Wesleyan)
  • Rich Glas (Concordia MN)
  • Ben Johnson (Minnesota)